Website building software, free online templates, and professional web designers make it easier than ever to create your own website. Yet there are a few basic traps that many beginners fall into. If you’re in the process of building a website, you’ll want to avoid these common mistakes.
1. Creating a Busy Landing Page
It’s vital to make a good first impression on first-time visitors to your website. Your landing page is the first thing that they will see, so this is one area that should be paid special attention. Whether using a professional design team or a template, take care not to overload your landing page with all of your site’s content. If it’s too flashy, confusing, or cluttered, you’ll quickly lose your audience. Sliding galleries and sidebars can help minimise the amount of information that visitors see at first glance.
2. Not Incorporating a Call to Action
What do you want a visitor to do when they arrive at your website? Do you want them to read your most recent blog post, sign up for your mailing list, or buy a product? Whatever the answer is, you can push the visitor in the right direction with a clear Call to Action. Prominently placed buttons, search bars, or icons can help improve navigation and indicate to the visitor what they should be looking at. For example, if you were a Portland web design and development business you would want to make your portfolio front and centre, with your contact information readily available to encourage clients to get in touch.
3. Including Outdated Content and Images
Webmasters must keep the site regularly updated to make it more effective. If visitors want to leave comments or send you emails, these should be answered immediately. It’s also a good idea to integrate a blog into your website. This allows you to post frequent new content without too much formatting. If you’ve hired a team that does web design in Portland or wherever you reside, ask about setting up a content management system that allows you to make updates whenever you wish.
4. Not Providing Security Information
Whether you want your site visitors to make a purchase or just sign up for an email list, you’ll need to provide a basic layer of security. Consumers are increasingly internet-savvy these days, and will be unwilling to provide any level of personal information if they don’t feel that your website is safe. Even providing token visual reassurance can be useful, such as a link to your site’s security information alongside a security lock button.
5. Not Testing Content before Going Live
Once your website goes live, anyone in the world can see it and you only have one chance to make a great first impression. You don’t want to sabotage your conversion rates with silly spelling mistakes or obscured navigation buttons. To begin with, before you post any new content it’s a good idea to proofread it carefully and ask a friend to do the same. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes will spot mistakes that you have missed. Before making any changes to the website’s functional side it’s also a good idea to have several users test it out first. They may notice that there are photos that won’t enlarge when you click on them, or that a link is broken.
Catching these mistakes early will make your site sparkle when it goes live, and increase the chances that your website visitors will want to keep coming back.